The seat of a judge in the law courts; the office of judge.
To be raised to the bench. To be made a judge.
The King's [queen's] bench. The Supreme Court of Common Law; so called because at one time the sovereign presided in this court, and the court followed the sovereign when he moved from one place to another. Now a division of the High Court of Judicature.
Bench of bishops. The whole body of English prelates, who sit together on a bench in the House of Lords.
To be raised to the Episcopal bench. To be made a bishop.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894